Category Archives: Soundtrack

The Cripple of Inishmaan opens on Broadway

Very happy that the production of The Cripple of Inishmaan directed by Michael Grandage has opened at the Cort Theatre on Broadway, New York. Following a sell out run in London’s West End last year I’m thrilled to be working on the production again, which stars Daniel Radcliffe and Sarah Greene (who was nominated for an Olivier for the role).

The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive…

“Set and costume designer Christopher Oram creates vivid images of human life as it’s lived on this limestone rock in the middle of the sea. Hearing the crashing waves and the eerie cries of seabirds and the mournful folk music supplied by composer and sound designer Alex Baranowski, it’s easy to understand how the intolerable loneliness of the place has worked its way into Billy’s bones.” (Variety)

Judging by the reviews, designer Christopher Oram and composer Alex Baranowski could well feature alongside Grandage and Radcliffe when the Tony nominations are announced next week.” (The Guardian)

I’ve already posted snippets of the score after the London run, which also can be heard here -

KES opens at Sheffield Crucible

Very happy that Kes has officially opened at the Sheffield Crucible Theatre to a brilliant response. A dance theatre adaptation directed and choreographed by Jonathan Watkins based on Barry Hines’ celebrated novel A Kestral For A Knave, I wrote and produced the hour and a half score.

The reviews have already been coming in -

“Alex Baranowski’s impressive score marries rippling, Nyman-esque piano figures with a keening, locally sourced flugelhorn…” (The Guardian) ****

“This unique production hits every note near-perfectly, bringing together an insistent and compelling new musical score, ravishing movement, puppetry and top notch performances to create a really special and fast-moving experience – even for those who turned up expecting a more traditional telling of this classic tale.” (Independent) ****

“The movements of the characters echo the freedom-constraint dichotomy of the environment.. the long-arcing strings and pizzicato percussive sounds of composer Alex Baranowski’s score play with the same elongation-punch counterpoint” (Observer) ****

“Makes your heart soar” (The Telegraph) ****

I’ll be putting some musical snippets up of the music very shortly, and I’m planning to release some of the music in the future. Feel free to join my mailing list here to be notified of its release and to receive the odd free music track.

Chester Hayes in Kes

The Last Days of Troy by Simon Armitage

Thrilled to be working again with Nick Bagnall composing for The Last Days of Troy, written by poet and novelist Simon Armitage – opening at the Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre on 8th May 2014 and transferring to The Globe in London June 2014. The cast includes Lily Cole as Helen of Troy.

I last collaborated with Nick Bagnall on the epic Henry VI trilogy last year at The Globe; and Betrayal at the Sheffield Crucible with John Simm.

For more information about the production visit the RET’s website here

TROY

“Kes” dance theatre piece at Sheffield Crucible

I’m presently deep into writing and rehearsals for Kes which is premiering at the Sheffield Crucible from 27th March to 5th April 2014. A mixture of dance, puppetry, physical theatre and of course music (an hour and a half of it), the production is directed and choreographed by Jonathan Watkins (who I previously collaborated with at the Royal Opera House for Ballet Black).

A re-imagining of Barry Hines’ celebrated book A Kestrel for a Knave the production tells the story of Billy Casper, a boy shaped by the contrasting worlds of an industrial working class Barnsley.. and the natural landscape around him.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit the Sheffield Crucible’s website here.

Once the show is opened, I’ll be putting a selection of the soundtrack up here on my website and to download from iTunes. To keep up to date with the release and the odd music freebie, feel free to join my email list here (it won’t be passed on to anyone, ever).

KES Picture

“Weave Your Magic” for Wieden + Kennedy nominated for Music + Sound Awards “Best Original Composition”

Very happy that my score for Lurpak‘s worldwide advertising campaign “Weave Your Magic” for Wieden + Kennedy has been nominated for “Best Original Composition” in the Television Advertising category at the Music + Sounds Awards 2014. Already the winner of a Cannes Lion Silver Award, the film was directed by Scott Lyon and features the voice of Blade Runner’s Rutger Hauer. The score was recorded in Abbey Road Studio 2 with the London Metropolitan Orchestra and Choir.

Lurpak

Soundtrack for The EL Train

Just before Christmas I took The EL Train band and choir to record some of the music from the five star reviewed production (showing at Hoxton Hall Dec 2013 directed by Sam Yates and Ruth Wilson).

Available just to listen online for the moment, the tracks will be available to download in the coming weeks.

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VOCALS Nicola Hughes
PIANO / MD Adam Sopp
TRUMPET Mark Kavuma
DRUMS Billy Stookes
UPRIGHT BASS Jason Simpson
TROMBONE Christian Edwards
ALTO SAX Zubin Varla

THE EL CHOIR Simon Coombs, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Christian Edwards, Adam Sopp, Ony Uhiara, Zubin Varla, Ruth Wilson

Produced and mixed by Alex Baranowski

Recorded at Strongroom, London

The El Train opens at Hoxton Hall

El Train-3

 

Very pleased that the The El Train opened this week at Hoxton Hall to some wonderful five star reviews. I’ve written music and created the sound design for the collection of three one act Eugene O’Neil plays directed by Sam Yates and Ruth Wilson - Before Breakfast, The Web and The Dreamy Kid. Ruth Wilson (who has two Olivier awards including last year’s best actress for Anna Christie) also stars in two of the plays.

The score features a live seven-piece jazz band led by vocalist Nicola Hughes linking each of the three plays.

The reviews so far have been fantastic, with the Telegraph writing -

..the staging is bleakly beautiful, the original score by Alex Baranowski sensational, the performances brutally truthful.” ****

Michael Billington in the Guardian -

..a spellbinding 90-minute evening… the atmospheric power of Alex Baranowski’s prefatory jazz music and the resonant singing of Nicola Hughes, who sombrely tells us that “death is slow, death is sure” ****

And Kate Kellaway in the Observer -

The joint is jumping.. to the ecstatic sound of virtuoso jazz trumpeter Mark Kavuma and company. The magnificent Nicola Hughes – velvet-voiced – seals each play with a song… a pitch-perfect sense of O’Neill’s prose and of theatrical sound: the thunder of train and storm.” *****

The show is running up until the end of December at Hoxton Hall. For more information and to book tickets, go to the El Train website here.

El Train-2

World Premiere of “Kes” dance theatre adaption by Jonathan Watkins

Excited to announce I’m writing the original music for a very special dance theatre adaptation of Kes directed and choreographed by Jonathan Watkins opening at the Sheffield Crucible in March 2014.

Based on Barry Hines’ celebrated book “A Kestrel For A Knave” the production is being designed by Ben Stones and will feature eight professional and 20 young local dancers to combine dance, physical theatre and puppetry in this world premiere production.

I previously collaborated with Jonathan for “Together Alone” with Ballet Black at the Royal Opera House and for short film “Sofa” commissioned by Channel 4.

For more information and to buy tickets (twelve performances only!) head to the Sheffield Theatre’s website here.

kes2

 

“Hamlet” encore screening to cinemas on the National Theatre’s 50th birthday

Very happy that the National Theatre will be broadcasting again to cinemas Sir Nicholas Hytner’s acclaimed 2010 production of Hamlet, on which I was composer, on the day that the NT turns 50 – 22nd October 2013. The production stared Rory Kinnear in the title role and gained numerous five star reviews.

The encore screenings also include Frankenstein directed by Danny Boyle, on which I was music associate with electro duo Underworld and staring Benedict Cumberbatch, which is being shown later in October.

As bonus material leading up to the broadcast, the NT has also released the original programme in PDF form here. Below is the trailer (featuring my score) and some snippets of the soundtrack I released in 2010.

The Masque of Anarchy at the Manchester International Festival

I’m presently writing music for The Masque of Anarchy showing at Manchester International Festival from 12th June. Directed by Royal Exchange artistic director Sarah Frankcom and featuring Maxine Peake - it is an atmospheric reading of the poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley about the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester 1819.. performed in the Manchester Albert Hall a few steps from the site of the massacre itself. Excitingly, the pipe organ in the hall has been restored especially for the performances, and it sounds fantastic.For more information on the MIF website click here.

masque